ACEC-MA_Insights_Winter_2013 by jianghongl


The Engineering Center • One Walnut Street • Boston, MA 02108 • T: 617/227-5551 • F: 617/227-6783 •                                     WINTER 2013

Tax Incentives for A/E Firms                                                                                      CONTENTS
By Stephen E. Minson, CPA, and Chad J. DaGraca, CPA, Commercial Practice Group, DiCicco, Gulman & Company, LLP
Note: This article is intended to raise awareness of the topics discussed, but does not address every aspect      TRENDS IN ENGINEERING
of the related tax law. Due to current uncertainty in the tax law, there may be some limitations on the
availability of some of these incentives. Accordingly, before implementing any of the ideas discussed, it is      X3 Design Professionals Practices,
recommended that you consult with a qualified tax advisor to determine if any of the above tax incentives            Projects and Professional Liability Risks
                                                                                                                     Where Have We Been? Where Are We Now?
make sense for your firm.                                                                                            Where Are We Headed?
                 At the federal and state levels,                                                                 X4 Where Is Professional Engineering
                                                                Tax incentives that A/E firms and their
                 there are literally several                                                                         Licensure Going?
                                                                owners may be able to use to reduce their
                 thousand tax incentives                                                                             Exploring proposed initiatives to revise
                                                                federal (and possibly state) tax burden.             requirements for professional licensure
                 potentially available to busi-
                                                                • Tax credit for performing architectural and
                 nesses. However, a recent                                                                        X5 The View From Campus
                                                                  engineering research activities (R&D credit)
                 Wall Street Journal article                                                                         What’s Happening in Engineering Education
                                                                • Tax deduction for designing energy efficient
                 estimated that for a variety of                  buildings and HVAC/lighting systems
                                                                                                                  X6 Where Are All the Building Engineers?
                 reasons, including the com-                                                                         The challemge of recruiting young engineers to
                                                                  (Section 179D)
                 plexity of the law, lack of                                                                         the building design profession
                                                                • Tax deduction for architectural and
                 awareness, cost of compliance                    engineering services related to US-based
                                                                                                                  X6 Choosing a Career in Building Engineering
                 and fear of IRS/state audit,                                                                        An electrical engineer in the building industry
                                                                  construction projects (Domestic Production
                 businesses claim as little as                    Activities Deduction or DPAD)                   X7 Doing Business Internationally
5% of the tax breaks they are entitled to.                                                                           Improve your odds of success working
                                                                • Tax minimization strategy available to firms
With tax rates set to rise as early as 2013,                      with international projects (Interest Charge
                                                                  Domestic Sales Corporation or IC-DISC)          X8 A Global Workplace: One Engineers
understanding these incentives is more impor-
                                                                For owners of pass-through entities (e.g.            Experience
tant than ever. Careful tax planning can ensure                                                                      Combining engineering skills and love of travel
A/E firms don’t leave money on the table.                       S-Corporations) these credits and deductions
                                                                can usually be taken at the personal level        X9 Design-Build and Construction
                                                                assuming other criteria are met.                     Management at Risk
                            continued on page 2                                                                     Professional liability issues for consulting

President’s Message                                                                                               TOPICS OF INTEREST
By Ko Ishikura, PE, President & CEO, Green International Affiliates, Inc.
                                                                                                                  13 Legislature Makes Three Changes to
                   It’s hard to believe another               members also participated at the two-day               Wetlands Protection Act
                   year is over. I wish you a                 northeast regional Every Day Counts 2               13 Impact of National Compensation Matrix
                   fabulous 2013 full of                      (EDC2) event in Warwick, Rhode Island, held            on MassDOT’s Auditing Requirements
                   successes and achievements.                by the Federal Highway Administration, where
                                                                                                                  14 Post-Election Wrap-up
                   The last few months have                   we provided our inputs as a consulting industry
                   kept us busy at ACEC/MA,                   on how to improve project delivery. With            15 What Is Quality Environmental
as we continue to represent and serve as a voice              respect to water infrastructure concerns, we are       Documentation?
of the engineering industry. Many of our                      also representing our industry as part of the       17 ACEC/MA Government Affairs and
members participated and spoke at a series of                 Water Infrastructure Finance Coalition, which          Related News
public hearings hosted by MassDOT                             promotes need for the water, sewer and
throughout the state to discuss future of                     stormwater infrastructure investment. We
statewide transportation. Our members                         hope that, through this coalition, legislation to   IN EVERY ISSUE
repeatedly testified in favor of infrastructure               close the state’s water infrastructure funding      10 New Members
investment at these hearings. Our messages                    gap will be developed and filed in the 2013
were heard and well received by MassDOT                       legislative session. We made great strides in our   16 What Has ACEC/MA Done for You Lately?
which is currently seeking additional                         advocacy efforts and I am very proud and            18 News and Notes
transportation funding to improve its highway                                                                     19 Upcoming Events
and transit systems. Many ACEC/MA                                                      continued on page 11
Communications Committee/                                   ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                          2
Insights Board of Editors
Elena T. Bleakley, Co-Chair
Principal, Elena Bleakley Marketing Associates              Tax Incentives for A/E Firms
T: 617/823-8639, E:                continued from cover
Robert J. Dunn, Jr., Co-Chair
Associate, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.                R&D Tax Credits                                       Section 179D
T: 978/692-1913, E:
                                                            The R&D Tax Credit rewards businesses for             The Energy Policy Act of 2005 included the
Pamela Degan
Marketing Manager, Geocomp Corporation                      developing new or improved products or                Section 179D Deduction as an incentive for
T: 978/893-1242 E:                       processes here in the US by reducing their tax        owners and designers of commercial buildings
David J. Hatem, Esq.                                        burden. It essentially allows firms to offset their   to integrate energy efficiency into these
Attorney, Donovan Hatem LLP
T: 617/406-4800, E:
                                                            tax liability dollar for dollar by the amount of      buildings. Since government agencies are not
Tess Hartwell                                               qualified R&D costs, rather than deducting            taxable entities, they can’t take advantage of the
Principal Consultant                                        certain costs from a firm’s income, which             benefits provided to other commercial building
Ingenio Strategic Marketing Consulting                      effectively limits the benefit of those deductions    owners. To compensate for this, a provision
T: 617/462-4813, E:
Jay Moskowitz
                                                            to the firm’s overall tax rate.                       was added to Section 179D of the Internal
Marketing, URS                                                                                                    Revenue Code that allows government agencies
T: 857/383-3833. E:                   Long thought of as a benefit for only
                                                                                                                  to pass the available deduction through to the
Alison Smith                                                technology and manufacturing businesses,
                                                                                                                  designer of the building. A/E firms are
Public Relations Lead, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.    changes in IRS regulations have expanded the
T: 978/577-1443, E:                                                                      considered to be the designer to the extent that
                                                            availability of the R&D credit to other types of
Cheryl A. Waterhouse, Esq.                                                                                        they created the technical specifications for
                                                            businesses, including A/E firms. Firms with a
Partner, Donovan Hatem LLP                                                                                        installation of energy efficient commercial
T: 617/406-4520                                             significant amount of fixed fee work that
E:                                                                                   building property.
                                                            requires the development of various design
Michael J. Walsh, PE                                        scenarios in order to meet the technological          Thanks to Section 179D, A/E firms may be
Vice President, CDM Smith
T: 617/452-6535, E:                    demands of the projects are more likely to            allocated tax deductions up to $1.80 per square
Joel P. Goodmonson, PE                                      qualify for the R&D credit.                           foot of the energy efficient building. For a
ACEC/MA Events and Operations Group Director                                                                      100,000 square foot building, that adds up to a
Executive Vice President/Principal                          To understand the magnitude of this credit for
Architectural Engineers, Inc.                                                                                     maximum deduction of $180,000. For a
                                                            tax year 2009 (the latest year for which the IRS
T: 617/542-0810, x103, E:                                                                typical architectural or engineering firm, based
                                                            has released statistics), just under $8 billion of
Erik J. Stoothoff, PE                                                                                             on a 35% federal tax rate, that’s a tax savings of
ACEC/MA Events and Operations Group Director                R&D credits were claimed. Historically,
Structural Engineer, Bridge Group, Jacobs                                                                         $63,000. The best part is that other than the
                                                            approximately 30% of businesses claiming the
T: 617/532-4260, E:                                                                     cost of the study, Section 179D is a cash free
                                                            credit reported gross annual revenues between
Abbie R. Goodman                                                                                                  deduction.
ACEC/MA Executive Director                                  $1 million and $10 million, resulting in more
The Engineering Center                                      than $200 million worth of credits annually           The deduction is available with respect to
T: 617/305-4112, E:
                                                            from that group.                                      property placed in service through December
Bailey Boykan
Administrative Assistant, The Engineering Center                                                                  31, 2013, (there has been discussion of
                                                            While the R&D credit can result in significant
T: 617/227-5551, x. 101, E:                                                                 extending this date) for designs that save at
                                                            tax savings, there are limitations. In most cases,
Committee Members                                                                                                 least 50% of the energy and power costs,
Heather Fuller                                              it is recommended that a study be performed
                                                                                                                  compared to a reference building that meets
Senior Project Engineer, Jacobs                             by a qualified consultant to fully document the
T: 617/242-9222, E:                                                                     Standard 90.1-2001 (as in effect on April 2,
                                                            research activities, which can be a time-
Paul J. Murphy, PE                                                                                                2003) of the American Society of Heating,
Geotechnical Discipline Lead, Jacobs                        consuming process. Therefore, firms must
                                                                                                                  Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
T; 617/532-4373, E:                weigh the cost of the study against the cash
                                                                                                                  (ASHRAE). Each of three components of a
Charles Russo                                               flow benefit of the credit. Also, the amount of
Marketing/Communications                                                                                          building: (1) the interior lighting systems; (2)
VHB/Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.                           the credit allowable each year is limited to the
                                                                                                                  heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water
T: 617/924-1770, x1540, E:                   difference between a taxpayer’s regular tax and
                                                                                                                  systems; and (3) the building envelope must be
                                                            alternative minimum tax (AMT). With so
Articles appearing in this or any issue of ACEC/MA                                                                separately reviewed and are each eligible for a
Insights may not be used for monetary gain or may not       many middle income individual taxpayers now
                                                                                                                  deduction of $.60 per square foot. All three
be reprinted or posted in any other format, without         being impacted by AMT, the benefit of the
advance permission of ACEC/MA. Requests for                                                                       components must separately qualify in order to
permission to reprint or post articles should be sent via   credit can be entirely eliminated. Finally, for a
                                                                                                                  obtain the full $1.80 per square foot deduction.
email to any member of the Board of Editors or to           number of years, the R&D credit was
acec/ A Permission to Reprint form                                                               It’s not uncommon to find that only one of the
                                                            designated a Tier 1 Audit Issue. While the IRS
will be forwarded electronically to the requesting party                                                          building components (typically the lighting)
and must be emailed or mailed back once completed           recently did away with these types of
and signed. Questions concerning reprinting of ACEC/                                                              qualifies for the deduction. In addition, recent
                                                            classifications, the credit likely remains at an
MA Insights articles may be sent to bob.dunn@stantec.                                                             IRS guidance may allow property to partially
com or                             elevated risk of audit.
                                                                                                                  qualify for the deduction.
ACEC/MA’s newsletter, Insights, is designed to provide      The R&D Credit actually expired as of
information and opinion in regard to the subject                                                                  To obtain a deduction for any of the building
                                                            December 31, 2011; however, since its
matter covered. ACEC/MA and its Board of Editors                                                                  components, the designer must obtain a
assume no responsibility for statements made or             inception in 1981, the credit has expired and
opinions expressed in this publication. It is published                                                           certification demonstrating that the required
                                                            been renewed numerous times. While nothing
with the understanding that the Board of Editors and                                                              energy savings will be achieved. Certification
the authors are not engaged in rendering legal,             is guaranteed, the credit is expected to be
                                                                                                                  must be obtained through a qualified third
accounting, or other professional services. If assistance   renewed again for 2012.
is required, the services of a competent professional
should be sought.
                                                                                                                                          continued on page 11
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                      3

Design Professionals Practices, Projects and Professional Liability Risks—
Where Have We Been? Where Are We Now? Where Are We Headed?
By Sue Yoakum, AIA, Esq., Donovan Hatem, LLP

                 When a friend asked David             Professional Liability                                encounter? Predictions for the future include
                 Hatem, founding member of             Over the last couple of decades, there has been       continued introduction of public/private
                 Donovan Hatem, LLP, to                a rise in the number of professional liability        partnerships and an increase in design/build
                 provide advice to a high              claims. There has been a change in the way            projects. The increase in these project delivery
                 school student interested in          owners view the engagement of a design                methods will be to align the efforts by public
                 the      architecture    and          professional and a willingness of owners to           owners to transfer substantial risk to private
engineering professions, David wondered                confront their design professionals and hold          sector consultants.
would the same information that motivated              them accountable. Many owners consider the
                                                                                                             International Practice and Projects
one to enter the professions years ago still           design service a commodity or commercial
                                                                                                             Changes in technology and communication
motivates future professionals today. Changes          relationship, rather than a professional
                                                                                                             have made it easier to practice on an
have abounded over the past 50 years.                  relationship, and treat their design professionals
                                                                                                             international level. However, emails and Skype
                                                       as vendors who produce a product rather than
To explore this issue, David assembled a highly                                                              can take you only so far. All of the panelists
                                                       a service. This leads to a culture and point of
distinguished panel to explore where we have                                                                 agreed that there is no replacement for in-
                                                       view in which suing a professional is akin to
been, where we are, and where we are headed.                                                                 person meetings with owners and visits to
                                                       suing a defective product manufacturer.
The panel, with experience spanning the 50                                                                   project locations. Design professionals who are
years, included: David Hatem; Chris Noble,             There are also more third-party claims from           successful internationally must also understand
founding member of Noble & Wickersham                  parties serving consulting and advisory roles to      the local environment and government and
LLP; and Carl Sapers, who practiced law with           owners—agency construction managers,                  must meet with owners and provide services as
Hill & Barlow for over 40 years, was general           project representatives and project managers—         if those owners were around the corner.
counsel for the AIA and NCARB and was as a             charged with evaluating the professional
                                                                                                             Where Are We Heading?
professor and dispute resolution expert in the         performance of the architect and engineers on
                                                                                                             The panelists were optimistic about where the
design field.                                          the project. Part of the fulfillment of these
                                                                                                             design professional field appears to be headed.
                                                       third-parties’ scope and mission is to identify
The Role of the Design Professional and                                                                      The national conversation on the direction of
                                                       opportunities for cost recovery against design
Project Delivery Methods                                                                                     the design and construction industry includes
                                                       professionals involved in the project.
Owners still hold design professionals in the                                                                the growing impact of building information
highest esteem and rely upon them for their            Although the availability of professional             modeling (BIM), integrated project delivery
projects; however, design professionals are no         liability insurance has been discussed as a           (IPD) and collaborative design.
longer the only trusted advisors to owners.            reason for the increase in claims, the panelists
                                                                                                             The panelists concluded that it is important to
Other project participants engaged directly by         believe this is more than likely not the cause.
                                                                                                             understand how we got to where we are in
contractors are making meaningful contributions        Owners will bring claims whether an engineer
                                                                                                             order to determine where we want to go. And
to the design discussion. Construction managers        has insurance or not, but insurance helps
                                                                                                             for students interested in engineering and
at risk, owner’s representatives, owner’s program      people sleep at night. Not having a professional
                                                                                                             architecture, the profession encourages and
managers and others have all changed the               liability policy could result in the loss of the
                                                                                                             welcomes them to the challenges and
dynamics of the design professional’s relationship     entire practice.
                                                                                                             excitement in the years to come.
with the owner, as design professionals have
                                                       Megaprojects                                          Sue E. Yoakum is Counsel at Donovan Hatem LLP. An
exhibited a lack of willingness to assume primary
                                                       The panelists discussed one of the major local        attorney and licensed architect with over 25 years of
responsibility for constructability, cost and
                                                       megaprojects: the Central Artery/Tunnel               domestic and international experience in design and
                                                       Project (CA/T), a project that has had its share      construction, Sue can be reached at syoakum@
Dispute Resolution                                     of claims and bad press. The project highlighted or at 617/406-4674.
Resolving disputes has also changed in the past        some of the major issues in megaprojects, such
half century. There has been a movement away           as planning, funding and delivery. The CA/T
from litigation to mediation. While mediation          brought forward the need to change the rules of
can help resolve cases more quickly and limit          engagement to transparency and accountability,
the risks associated with trials, its popularity has   which are now the order of business on                  UPCOMING ISSUES OF INSIGHTS
taken its toll. Attorneys have historically learned    megaprojects. Ultimately, the panelists agreed          Insights is published four times a year—fall,
from cases that have progressed through the            that it deserves to be judged for the value that it     winter, spring and summer. Watch for our
courts, making their way to the Appellate Court        contributes to public transportation, the               spring issue in April when we will focus on
level to be published in the law reporters. With       environment and the economy.                            issues of sustainability. If you would like to
fewer cases being decided in the courts and                                                                    contribute an article to Insights or have ideas
                                                       Economic Trends                                         for new topics, please contact Bob Dunn at
appealed on legal issues, there is little new case
                                                       The panelists commented that today’s economy   or 978/692-1913 or
law that reflects the changes in the profession
                                                       is the worst in their 50-year look back. When           Elena Bleakley at elena.bleakley
and provides a baseline for attorneys to advise
                                                       the economy recovers, what are we going to              or 617/823-8639.
design professionals faced with legal issues.
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                 4

Where Is Professional Engineering Licensure Going?
By Dean L. Groves, PE, Director of Strategic Growth—New England, URS Corporation and Elena Bleakley, Co-Chair, ACEC/MA Communication
Committee/Insights Board of Editors
                  If you are a licensed              undergraduate courses in engineering, science,
                  professional engineer (PE) in      mathematics and/or professional practice
                  Massachusetts, chances are         topics is required for licensure.
                  you received your bachelor’s
                                                     Proponents of the MOE provision (often
                  degree in engineering from a
                                                     referred to as “Raise the Bar”), including the
                  college or university offering
                                                     American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE),
                  an EAC/ABET-accredited
                                                     the National Academy of Engineering and the
                  program and then had four
                                                     National Society of Professional Engineers,
                  or more years of progressive
                                                     believe that more rigorous educational
                  engineering        experience.
                                                     requirements will better prepare engineers for
                  Some of you may have also
                                                     the challenges of tomorrow, ensure technical
                  received a master’s degree in
                                                     excellence, better protect the public and build
engineering from an accredited program. But
                                                     leadership. The Raise the Bar web site                  From left: Glenn R. Bell, PE, CEO, Simpson
what if licensure required a master’s degree for
                                                     ( is intended         Gumpertz & Heger (SGH), Dean L. Groves, PE,
all? Would that be a positive change for the
                                                     to educate and inform the community about               Director of Strategic Growth—New England,
engineering industry to enhance the ability of
                                                     the reasons for the MOE provision.                      URS Corporation and TECET Chair, William
the engineer to protect the health and well-
                                                                                                             (Bill) M. Stout, PE, Chairman and CEO,
being of the public, or one that would harm          Opponents of the MOE provision, such as
                                                                                                             Gannett Fleming
the industry by reducing the ranks of the            American Society of Mechanical Engineers,
professional engineers?                              American Institute of Chemical Engineers,
                                                     ACEC, and American Society for Engineering
This is a debate that has been ongoing for more
                                                     Education (ASEE) Engineering Deans Council,
than a decade. The Engineering Center
                                                     are equally committed to preparing the next
Education Trust (TECET) recently sponsored a
                                                     generation of engineers and to getting their
breakfast program to provide a briefing on some
                                                     position out (
of the initiatives proposed to revise the require-
                                                     They believe that engineers are the master
ments for professional licensure, including the
                                                     builders and stewards of the environment who
“Raise the Bar Initiative” to help explain the
                                                     manage risk and promote good public policy.
issues to interested parties. Moderated by Dean
                                                     They believe that learning is a life-long
L. Groves, PE, Director of Strategic Growth—
                                                     experience that is better tailored to the discipline,
New England, URS Corporation and TECET
                                                     but do not see the need for the requirement for
Chair, the program featured Glenn R. Bell, PE,
                                                     a master’s or equivalent for licensure.                 Engineering Credit Hours (ASCE, www.raisethe
CEO, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH),
and William (Bill) M. Stout, PE, Chairman and        Why Require a Master’s or Equivalent          , 2012)
CEO, Gannett Fleming.                                for Licensure?
                                                     It is difficult to disagree with the fact that we
Setting the Requirements for Licensure
                                                     are all working in an increasingly complex
Requirements for licensure as a PE are set by
                                                     world. As described by Glenn Bell, who says “It
each state, and thus vary state to state. The
                                                     is a global market with increased uncertainty in
National Council of Examiners for Engineering
                                                     a prescriptive world with complex infrastructure
and Surveying (NCEES), however, recently
                                                     systems with technology that is playing an
adopted a Model Law and Model Rule to be
                                                     ever-increasing role.” While the challenges
used as a guide by individual states in updating
                                                     have expanded, there has been a decline in the
laws and rules regarding the qualifications
                                                     number of credit hours required to graduate
required for licensure as a PE.
                                                     with an engineering degree. Less time is spent
For more than a decade, NCEES has been               in core engineering courses than ever before
focusing on the education requirements and           (see Engineering Credit Hours graph at right).
appropriate qualifications to become a PE. In
                                                     Engineering disciplines were once leaders in            Education Requirements for the Learned Professions
2006, the Model Law was changed to require
                                                     formal education. Since 1900, the required              (ASCE,, 2012)
education beyond a bachelor’s degree for
                                                     number of years of formal education for
newly-licensed engineers. In 2010, the Model
                                                     engineering disciplines have held steady while
Law was revised further to include what is
                                                     other professional disciplines—from accoun-
known as the masters or equivalent (MOE)
                                                     ting to medicine—have increased educational
provision. The provision states that, no earlier
                                                     requirements over the same time.
than 2020, a master’s degree or equivalent of
30 credits of post-graduate or upper level
                                                                              continued on page 12
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                5

The View from Campus: What’s Happening in Engineering Education?
                    The perceived shortage of        Why such an increase of interest in mechanical        point average (GPA) in those physical sciences.
                    engineers in this country has    engineering?                                          While that kind of screening was at first
                    received a good deal of public                                                         avoided so you didn’t turn some students away,
                                                     That is still a big question across the country
                    attention in the last few                                                              we’ve had to change it to keep students
                                                     and a topic of some debate. The running guess
                    years, including more funding                                                          graduating. And so far, we haven’t seen it hurt
                                                     is that mechanical engineering programs bill
                    and support of Science,                                                                our number of incoming students at all.
                                                     themselves as an integrative engineering
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
                                                     discipline      that     includes     materials,
(STEM) education programs and similar                                                                      What kind of feedback do you get from students
                                                     manufacturing and robotics. I conjecture that
initiatives. But is this extra attention working,                                                          and/or employers about how well their education
                                                     much of the growth is due to robotics. Many
particularly here in Massachusetts? This Q&A                                                               prepared them for the job?
                                                     middle and high schools now have robotics
session with Dr. John Ting, the former Dean of
                                                     clubs and competitions and I think that has           In the past four years, we’ve put in an integrative
Engineering at UMass Lowell (and now Vice
                                                     driven many students toward mechanical                co-op program like Northeastern’s. I’m a big
Provost for Enrollment), sheds some light on
                                                     engineering.                                          believer in co-ops, not just because it helps
what’s happening in the education of the future
                                                                                                           with job placement but more because it helps
leaders of the engineering industry.
                                                     What do you think needs a greater emphasis in         transform students into employable engineers.
                                                     today’s engineering curriculum?                       So far we’ve integrated the program into our
What has enrollment looked like in the engineering
                                                                                                           plastics, chemical, and mechanical departments.
program at UMass Lowell over the last few years?     At UMass Lowell, we recently asked our
                                                                                                           The feedback has been fantastic in terms of
                                                     engineering department advisory board what
It’s actually quite good. Over the last decade,                                                            quality of students, the technical background
                                                     skill sets they are looking for. They said business
we have seen freshman enrollments more than                                                                they come with and the experience the
                                                     and communication skills, particularly being
double and total enrollment, including                                                                     employers provide the students. Now we offer
                                                     able to understand a business plan and talk to
transfers, has gone from about 1,000 to 1,700                                                              two summer co-op programs with an
                                                     and work with those outside of your discipline
students. If you look at where we were just four                                                           assessment after each. We’re expanding into
                                                     or even engineering, like marketing or finance
years ago, our incoming freshman class was                                                                 half-year co-ops because employers have asked
                                                     staff or a client. At UMass Lowell, we’re trying
about 300 students. This year’s was 425. We                                                                for it. But we do want to keep the summer
                                                     to make those skills available through minors
expect that in four or five years we will be                                                               flexibility for those students who have to work
                                                     rather than building them into the engineering
graduating 400 to 500 students. The national                                                               to pay their own tuition.
                                                     program as our advisory board also noted that
average is growing as well—up about 20% over
                                                     we shouldn’t sacrifice technical credits. When
the past decade—but we have grown well                                                                     What has job placement looked like for your
                                                     we began offering a business minor with our
beyond that here. One reason we think, is                                                                  students given the recent recession?
                                                     civil engineering degree in 2003, we thought
UMass Lowell focuses a lot of our programs on
                                                     only the top students would choose to pursue          While we don’t have a formal means for
service learning, or doing projects that make a
                                                     it. But we found that nearly 25% of the class         tracking our students, I do know that last year
difference. So throughout your time in school,
                                                     was graduating with a business minor and it’s         wasn’t good. This spring I found about 60% of
you are working on projects that help disabled
                                                     been extended across the college now.                 our graduates on LinkedIn and could see what
people, improve quality of life in other parts of
                                                                                                           they are doing now. About 25% had continued
the world, etc. Our rise in enrollments as a
                                                     What are the greatest challenges for engineering      on to graduate school, which is a high number.
college started about a year after we began
                                                     schools in preparing students for joining the         It also looked like some people had not yet
focusing on that.
                                                     workforce?                                            gotten an engineering job, even two years after
What disciplines do you find most students           The graduation rate is still not good. We do a
gravitating toward?                                  good job of getting students interested in
                                                                                                           What can engineering companies and professionals
                                                     engineering but we often find that they can’t do
The fastest growing discipline is definitely                                                               do to help?
                                                     the math. That’s really the job of the curriculum
chemical engineering. We’ve almost tripled
                                                     of the middle and high school levels. That’s          Companies can contact schools and offer co-
our enrollment in that area; in large part, I
                                                     where teamwork doesn’t apply—you can’t do             ops to help train the students they eventually
think because bioengineering and nuclear
                                                     math as a team. On paper, our incoming classes        want to hire; that’s what will guarantee that
engineering are also included within that
                                                     are getting stronger and stronger but math            they will stay in the profession. Individuals can
department. Our biggest department, how-
                                                     skills have been a problem for the past 20 years.     provide input to their alma maters and offer to
ever, is mechanical engineering. Since 2004,
                                                     Our students don’t have a problem with the            help. Most schools have advisory boards of
their enrollment has grown from about 230 to
                                                     kind of math on the Massachusetts                     alumni and large employers who review
over 600 and they’ve overtaken electrical and
                                                     Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)                curriculum, provide feedback on the quality of
computer engineering as the biggest under-
                                                     test; they need help in those higher levels past      students, make recommendations, etc. Schools
graduate department. Civil is the third largest
                                                     algebra. We have tweaked our admissions to            need this kind of input and are typically
and has steadily grown, but not at the rates of
                                                     mandate math and physics and a certain grade          looking for people to provide it.
mechanical and chemical.
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                  6

Where Are All the Building Engineers?
By Nick Ferzacca, PE, Principal, Architectural Engineers, Inc.
                   Recruiting young engineers        can result from “teachable” moments that             engines and other mechanical devices. They work
                   to the building design            occur within the engineering curriculum. So in       on power-producing machines and develop power-
                   profession has always been a      many respects, the real question or challenge        using machines. They also work in areas such as
                   challenge, and many in the        for the building design industry is how we can       the medical field, patents and other legal activities,
                   industry point to a lack of       gain visibility within the academic community?       management, forensic engineering, environ-
                   exposure to the profession by                                                          mental engineering, and engineering sales.
                                                     I spoke with staff in the engineering offices of a
higher education institutions. If you search the                                                          (University of Kansas. “Mechanical Engineering”
                                                     few universities to ask how they set their
College Board website (                                                    
                                                     curriculum and to explore if those programs
for    colleges      offering    programs      in                                                         me.html, 2012.)
                                                     expose students to the building design
“Engineering—General,” you will find 603 out
                                                     profession in any way. The outset of these           There is nothing wrong with the above
of the 3,994 programs listed. Change your
                                                     conversations was awkward as I stumbled to           description, but there is also nothing there to
search to colleges offering programs in
                                                     explain the nature of this article and the intent    suggest that mechanical engineers have
“Architectural and Building Sciences” and you
                                                     of my question, but a few observations seemed        anything to do with designing buildings. The
will find three. While this may not be a
                                                     apparent. First, while engineering departments       engineering field is extremely broad, so the
particularly fair or entirely accurate picture, it
                                                     are often able to freely explain how students are    point here is not to criticize academic
certainly suggests architectural engineering or
                                                     exposed to semiconductor manufacturing or            institutions for overlooking a particular
building design is not on the radar screen of
                                                     provided opportunities to collaborate with           engineering profession; but it is worthwhile to
many higher education institutions.
                                                     medical device makers; it was difficult to find      recognize that an oversight exists and to
While the above college search exercise may be       someone who had a good grasp of what I even          understand why and how we can help repair it.
revealing, it probably misses a more important       meant by mechanical and electrical systems for
point. That is, not whether entering engineering     buildings. Though they certainly understand          To this point, it is also interesting to note that
students can choose “architectural engineering”      and appreciate that building design requires         several of the engineering programs I spoke
or “building design” as a major, but whether         structural engineers, the fact that mechanical       with pointed to work by the National Academy
engineering programs even expose engineers to        engineers design heating, ventilating and air        of Engineering (NAE) as influencers in their
the building design profession. Many students        conditioning systems for buildings seemed            curriculum development. In particular, the
pursuing an engineering degree have only a           unclear. It is also interesting to note how the      NAE report “Grand Challenges for
vague idea of what they wish to do when they         websites of some universities explain what           Engineering” (,
graduate. Their initial decisions about broad        engineers do. Below is an excerpt from one           which identifies some of the major challenges
engineering choices, such as electrical,             university website explaining the job of a           our industry faces today, was cited by some as
mechanical or civil, are based on general            mechanical engineer:                                 a cue for university focus. The challenges
proficiencies and interests. But beyond this,                                                             include broad topics such as “advancing
                                                     Mechanical engineers use principles of mechanics     medicine and health” and “unraveling how the
career directions such as designing thermal
                                                     and energy to do research and to develop, design,    brain works” as well as topics that do
management systems for industrial components
                                                     manufacture, and test tools, machines, motors,
as opposed to the HVAC systems for buildings
                                                                                                                                     continued on page 8

Choosing a Career in Building Engineering
                  The Insights editors recently      ranged from power distribution to alternative        providing building energy, power generation
                  spoke with Bonnie Cheng,           power to electromagnetics. Overall—the pro-          and distribution.
                  an electrical engineer at          gram was structured to prepare students for
                                                                                                          Expand more on what swayed you to this industry.
                  Arup, Boston, about her            careers in research and manufacturing.
                                                                                                          Did you compare offers between building and
                  choice to persue a career in
                                                     How did you end up in the building industry?         manufacturing careers?
                  the building industry.
                                                     Well, I think that the trend for any electrical      When I first accepted the position at Arup, I
What brings an electrical or mechanical engineer
                                                     engineer is to pursue a position in manu-            knew I would be able to work collaboratively
into this field of building engineering?
                                                     facturing or electronics, but I guess I wanted a     with other engineering disciplines and pro-
When I first started out, I had it in my mind        position where I could combine my knowledge          fessions, but I didn’t fully realize how much I
that I wanted to be an architect. It was really on   of electrical engineering with my interest in        would learn from them. This has been great for
a whim that I chose to study engineering in          architecture along with my passion for the           me because what I enjoy most is a constant
college—specifically electrical engineering. As      environment. It turns out that building design       learning environment. Mentoring is a huge
an electrical engineering student at the             and construction allow me just that. I have          part of the workplace at Arup, and I feel that I
University of Kentucky (UK), my under-               been able to see how my training is able to          have been able to broaden my skills in ways
graduate studies focused on the use and              support electrical building infrastructure           that other industries wouldn’t have been able to
manipulation of electrical power. Classes                                                                 offer me.
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                   7

Doing Business Internationally
By Rick Moore
                 Why should a company                provide access and intelligence and doesn’t
                 consider international work?        participate in the work. A partner does the
                 The US market has been              same, but participates in the work. One
                 huge, growing and profitable        approach is to partner with a contractor,
                 for decades, but things are         typically to pursue design/build projects; this
                 changing. If you listen to the      way your partner has more skin in the game.
rhetoric of economists and financial folks, they     Also, in many countries the contractors are the
say the US economy will sputter along at a 2%        key players in the development/infrastructure
annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth           business and the design/build (D/B) model is
rate for the foreseeable future. By contrast,        commonly used to deliver projects.
based on 2011 results, the so-called BRIC
                                                     Where to Work?
countries—Brazil, Russia, India, and China—
                                                     If you are working for the US government or a
are growing by 2.7% (Brazil), 4.3% (Russia),
                                                     private company, they will dictate the work
6.9% (India) and 9.3% (China).
                                                     location. Otherwise, pursue a specific country—       Rick Moore leads kick off meeting for Cuttack
As we look to the future, growth in the BRIC         one of the BRIC countries—and focus on that           drainage project in Orissa, India
countries is likely to continue. Brazil has the      location. The comments above give some
World Cup and Olympics coming up. Russia is          suggestions. Certainly, a country where English       to use low-cost labor for production work in
planning to invest billions in resource extrac-      is commonly spoken and written helps. To              local offices. This can be an advantage, not only
tion and, of all things, resort development.         penetrate a particular market in a foreign            for the in-country work, but also as a
India has well-known energy problems, among          country, two things are important at the outset.      production office to do work for similar
many other infrastructure problems that need         First is to research and pick a local agent or        projects worldwide. In terms of head count, a
to be addressed. China needs to respond to           partner. No matter how you go about doing this        10–20% expatriate and 80–90% local labor
their continuing major urban growth. In fact,        there is no guaranty of success, so do your due       force split would not be unusual. This may
the worldwide urban population is projected to       diligence and make an informed decision. Once         correspond to a 1/3, 2/3, 40/60 split based on
more than double by 2025 to 5 billion, with          made, send expatriate staff to work with your         fee. Some of the expatriate staff must be in-
90% of the increase in developing countries;         partner and make sure the senior person               country full time and some of the local staff
this would account for 2/3 of the total              representing your firm is in fact “senior.” Titles    need to spend time in the US to understand
population.                                          matter and help gain access to start relationships,   processes and procedures and to build rapport.
                                                     which are all important. Once you have picked         In addition to these basic questions, there
All of this speaks to the need for civil engineers
                                                     your partner for a reason, listen to their advice.    needs to be professional evaluations of taxes,
and, unlike the US, the BRIC countries and
                                                     They are the “home team.”                             contracts (especially payments terms) and labor
others in the Middle East and elsewhere have
the money and will to invest in infrastructure.       Few countries outside the US have professional       laws and regulations. Contracts also need to
We must respond to this opportunity or face          engineering (PE) licensing by exam. The coin          include Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
the consequences.                                    of the realm is your degree(s) and school. Since      language and staff need to be aware of three key
                                                     school quality can vary, so can the quality of        points in the FCPA:
So does your company really want to invest a
                                                     the degree.                                           • Prohibits giving anything of value to
million dollars and three to five years
internationally to see financial results? You        How to Do the Work?                                     obtain work;
likely do. But you need to be realistic about the    This differs by client, with the US government        • Covers corporations, people and third
process and the effort it takes to establish         allowing the most input from expatriates and            parties; and
yourself internationally. The following are          the freedom to do work from a US base. For            • Exempts reasonable and bona fide
several questions to consider that may help          private and certainly local clients, the mix will       expenses to obtain work.
improve your odds of success.                        change to reduced costs. There will be pressure
                                                                                                           There are huge opportunities internationally,
What Type of Client?                                                                                       but they are not for the faint of heart. Although
The lowest risk approach is to work overseas                                                               the hunt and the execution will be frustrating
for the US government (military, United States                                                             at times the process helps to develop staff
Agency for International Development), use                                                                 capabilities and generates palpable excitement
US staff, and get paid in dollars. The next level                                                          within your company. This excitement is very
of risk is working for a multinational                                                                     much tied to the exposure to different cultures,
corporation, typically an existing client who                                                              the friendships made and how this enriches
takes you overseas. Last is working in a country                                                           each individual involved.
for a public or private client. This usually
requires establishing a local presence and                                                                 Most recently Rick Moore was Director of Tetra Tech
complying with local laws. In these cases, it’s                                                            India Limited, a subsidiary of Tetra Tech Inc. He also
                                                                                                           served on the Board of Directors of ACEC/MA. He can be
almost always necessary to partner with a local      The PMC Cricket team—Going overseas isn’t all         reached at 617/293-7209 or
agent or company. An agent is paid a fee to          about work!
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                  8

A Global Workplace: One Engineer’s Experience
Jonathan Kunay’s engineering career began in       project, I was in Jordan on three separate
1999 as a 19-year-old co-operative (co-op)         occasions for a month each time. In 2011, I
student in CDM Smith’s Cincinnati office. In       spent time working in Guam on a leak
his 13-year career, Jonathan has been able to      detection and geographic information system
combine his engineering skills and love of         (GIS) mapping program.
travel. He has worked for clients in Jordan and
Guam, and is currently involved in the pursuit
                                                   What should engineers know before working
of other international business opportunities.
Jonathan is also actively involved in several
projects for local clients.                        It is important to understand that business in
                                                   other countries is conducted in a very different
How did your interest in working internationally   way than it is in the US. You need to understand
evolve?                                            the cultural differences and adjust your style.
                                                   As an example, in Jordan, we had been trying         Jonathan Kunay (head of the table) enjoys lunch
I have always been interested in language,
                                                   to get critical plans from a government agency       with the project team in Amman, Jordan.
culture and travel. I joined the International
                                                   for many months with no success. A British
Club in high school just to hang out with the
                                                   colleague suggested that we visit the agency.
exchange students. Before moving from                                                                   What about your local work? Do you still enjoy that?
                                                   We spent half a day drinking coffee and
Cincinnati to Cambridge in 2002, I lived in
                                                   building relationships, but never asking for the     I do. It is challenging and important work and
Berlin, Germany, for a month. It was a life-
                                                   plans. As we were leaving, with a good coffee        I enjoy the collegiality of working with my
changing opportunity. It pushed me out of my
                                                   buzz, the head of the agency handed over the         peers in Cambridge. It is also a great balance to
comfort zone and opened my eyes to a world of
                                                   plans. How we conduct business in the US             the travel.
                                                   doesn’t always work in other countries. In this
                                                   case, it was all about building a relationship.
                                                                                                        What do you see as the benefits of working
How did your international opportunities begin?
In 2008, I was part of a World Economic            Is it difficult to be away from home?
                                                                                                        For me, it keeps me engaged and gives me the
Forum (WEF) delegation to China. The
                                                   Travel fits my lifestyle and personal situation. I   opportunity to learn new things. New England
purpose of the trip was to foster an exchange of
                                                   have also been fortunate since my trips have         is a mature market. Working in developing
ideas on sustainability. We met with university
                                                   been limited to short durations. I don’t know        nations provides an opportunity to learn things
and government leaders. It was a great
                                                   how I would feel if I was away for years at a        that you may not be exposed to otherwise. For
experience! Since then, as opportunities to
                                                   time instead of months at a time. Coming out         one project, I was chosen for my international
work overseas have come up, I have pushed to
                                                   of college a lot of kids want to experience travel   experience and gained the opportunity to learn
be involved. My first overseas assignment was
                                                   for free, but working overseas is not a vacation.    a new skill. I can now serve as a resource to the
in 2010 for a water/wastewater infrastructure
                                                   Living in a hotel for a month at a time isn’t the    firm, sharing the technical expertise with my
project in Jordan. Over the course of the
                                                   same as spending a week on vacation.                 colleagues in the US.

Where Are All the Building Engineers?
continued from page 6

encompass elements of building design such as      in engineering’s grand challenges, but rather        such, we as a profession need to try to do
“preventing global warming” and “modernizing       that it doesn’t connect the dots between them.       more to increase the visibility of building
our urban world.” Yet, as the engineering          And with buildings representing 40% of the           design within the academic community.
departments I spoke to explained how their         total energy use in the US, the importance of        Hiring interns or co-op students, serving as a
curriculum aligned with these grand                building design and the role that engineers play     guest lecturer or adjunct instructor or offering
challenges, they rarely linked them back to        in it is only going to increase.                     to provide input to engineering department
building design. For instance, they could easily                                                        curricula may be some potential avenues for
                                                   To steal a line from the movie Cool Hand
explain how courses in biomedical engineering                                                           raising that awareness of what we do and,
                                                   Luke, it seems that what we’ve got here is a
helped advance medicine, but were less likely                                                           ideally, inspiring more young engineers to
                                                   failure to communicate. As many of us know
to cite that building design prevented global                                                           choose this path.
                                                   all too well, creating well-functioning
warming or modernized the urban world.
                                                   building systems doesn’t get the attention or        Nick Ferzacca, PE, LEED AP BD+C, is a principal
The real issue seems to be not so much that        glamour of, say, landing a robot on Mars or          and electrical engineer at Architectural Engineers, Inc.
academia disregards the role of building design    developing pin-point guidance systems. As            in Boston. He can be reached at 617/807-1668 or
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                    9

Design-Build and Construction Management at Risk:
Professional Liability Issues for Consulting Engineers
By David J. Hatem, PC, Donovan Hatem LLP

Increasingly, owners of public projects are          • Contain no standards, criteria or other                • Be attentive to schedule compliance for
utilizing the design-build (D/B) and construc-         limitation on the owner’s scope of review and            design and other deliverables and document
tion management-at-risk (CMR) project                  acceptance of design development submissions.            reasons for non-compliance.
delivery methods. Among other reasons, an            • Impose liquidated damages and/or conse­                • Recognize boundaries between construction
owner selects D/B and CMR to achieve certain           quential damages due to project delay caused             means and methods and permanent project
objectives such as: procure a contractor on a          in whole or in part, by the consulting                   design.
basis other than pure low bid; allow for more          engineer’s failure to meet schedule or                 • Insist that limitations (e.g. standards, criteria)
simultaneous interaction between itself, its           contractual deadlines and irrespective of any            on owner review of design submittals are
consulting engineer and the contractor during          demonstration of professional negligence.                adhered to and timely review is undertaken
the design phase; allow the contractor’s
                                                     • Exclude or inappropriately limit the consul­             by owner.
contemplated means and methods of con-
                                                       ting engineer’s role during the construction           • Be attentive to potential professional liability
struction and constructability preferences or
                                                       phase.                                                   implications of unfair or imprudent risk
concerns to inform the design development
process; reduce claims during construction           • Allow the design­builder to withhold pay­                allocation as between owner and design-
based upon the contractor’s lack of under-             ment of fees based solely upon allegations of            builder.
standing of the design intent or requirements          inadequate or untimely performance of the              • Maintain quality assurance and quality
of the contract documents by allowing for the          consulting engineer.                                     control in the design development process.
contractor’s pre-construction involvement in         • Obligate the consulting engineer to defend
                                                                                                              Construction Management At Risk
the design development process; and to contain         and indemnify the design-builder based on
                                                                                                              CMR allows for a contractor to be prequalified
the owner’s potential exposure for cost overruns       claims or allegations (i.e., non-proven profes-
                                                                                                              and selected on a basis not restricted to low bid.
and delays.                                            sional negligence or other legal liability) relating
                                                                                                              Typically, the construction manager (CM)
                                                       to the consulting engineer’s performance.
These are all salutary objectives. The reality,                                                               provides planning, estimating, scheduling,
however, is that many owners, consulting             Claims arising out of the preceding types of             constructability, design review, value
engineers and contractors experienced in the         contract provisions may not be insurable under           engineering and other pre-construction services.
D/B and CMR methods understand that by no            professional liability insurance coverage.               The owner and CM agree on a guaranteed
means are those methods a panacea or problem                                                                  maximum price (GMP) when design is
                                                     In addition to professional liability risks as
solver for the perceived shortcomings of the                                                                  approximately 60% (or more) complete.
                                                     noted above, consulting engineers face
more traditional Design-Bid-Build (DBB)
                                                     significant exposure in circumstances in which           In Massachusetts, CMR was first authorized
delivery method. In addition, consulting
                                                     risk has been unfairly or disproportionately             for certain public projects in 2004 pursuant to
engineers need to appreciate that D/B and
                                                     allocated by the owner to the design-builder.            Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 149A.
CMR pose potential professional liability risk
                                                     For example, in circumstances in which the               More recently, Chapter 118, Section 62 of the
in respects different from those presented
                                                     design-builder is not entitled to an equitable           Acts of 2012 was passed, allowing the
under DBB.
                                                     adjustment from the owner for differing site             Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Design-Build                                         conditions, legal precedent and claims                   (MBTA) to utilize CM/general contractor
In contractor-led DB, the contractor typically       experience demonstrate that it is probable that          (GC) for the Green Line Extension Project on
engages a consulting engineer to provide             the design-builder will pursue a professional            a pilot basis which “shall emphasize an
certain design and other professional services.      negligence claim against its consulting engineer         integrated team approach to the planning,
Sources of potential professional liability risk     arising out of those differing site conditions.          design and construction of the [project] and
arise out of contract provisions that:                                                                        shall control schedule, budget and risk
                                                     The lack of experience of the owner with the
• Contain ambiguous or otherwise inadequate                                                                   allocation while ensuring a quality end product
                                                     D/B method itself can be a risk factor.
  definitions of scope of professional services to                                                            for the project owner.”
  be performed by the consulting engineer.           There are certain proactive risk management
                                                                                                              Although relatively new in Massachusetts
                                                     steps that may be taken to mitigate professional
• Mandate or warrant that design shall be “free                                                               public projects, CMR has the potential for
                                                     liability exposure:
  from defects” and that otherwise impose                                                                     professional liability risk for the consulting
  performance standards (such as “fit for            • Conscientiously negotiate contractual terms            engineer in a number of respects:
  intended purpose”) that do not require proof         and avoid unqualified flow down of provisions
                                                                                                              • Disputes over level of completion of the
  of professional negligence to establish legal        from the D/B Agreement between the owner
                                                                                                                pricing or GMP set of design documents.
  liability.                                           and the design-builder.
                                                                                                              • Inadequacies in owner and/or CMR
• Impose financial consequences upon the             • Carefully prepare detailed service scope, be
  consulting engineer in the event that certain        attentive to scope limitations, and understand
                                                       that “out-of-scope” performance leads to               • Cost overruns resulting from starting
  actual (as-built) quantities of construction
                                                       both commercial impacts and potential                    construction on portions of work prior to
  materials (e.g. concrete, steel, rebar) exceed
                                                       increased risk exposures.
  pre-construction quantity estimates.                                                                                                 continued on page 10
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                10

Design-Build and Construction Management at Risk
continued from page 9
  completion and coordination of all design         these alternative methods present significant          Want to learn more? David Hatem is
  (aka “fast track”)                                opportunities for project owners to transfer           moderating an ACEC/MA Breakfast Program
• Compromises in design adequacy or quality         substantial risk and significantly reduce, if not      on Alternative Delivery Methods on January
  due to undue “value engineering pressure”         eliminate, their risk-of-cost overrun exposure.        17, 2013. Register today!
  from owner and/or CMR.                            While there are many advantages to these               David J. Hatem is a founding partner of the multi-
                                                    methods—especially the integration of                  practice law firm, Donovan Hatem LLP. He leads the
• Unfair or disproportionate risk allocation
                                                    consulting engineer and contractor in pre-             firm’s Professional Practices Group, which represents
  from owner to CMR.
                                                    construction design and construction                   engineers, architects and construction management
• Ambiguous or otherwise inadequate                 planning—they also pose the potential for              professionals. David has served as ACEC/MA Counsel
  statement of qualifications, assumptions and      significant professional liability risk for the        since 1988 and was the recipient of the 2008 ACEC/
  exclusions to GMP scope.                          consulting engineer.                                   MA Distinguished Service Award.
• Owner award of single CMR contract for a
  substantial construction value that may lead
  to risk of CMR default or ability of CMR to
  exert “lock-in” pressure in negotiations with       GREEN LINE EXTENSION PROJECT
  owner for additional claim payments beyond
                                                      The Green Line Extension project is an initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation
                                                      (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) which will extend the
• The CMR generally will resist any condition         Green Line subway from a relocated Lechmere Station in Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville
  or circumstance that it perceives will cause it     and to College Avenue in Medford. The goals of the project are to ensure more equitable distribution
  to incur unanticipated cost not included in         of transit services by providing residents with better transportation options in densely populated
  the GMP or identified in the agreed schedule.       municipalities; reduce the number of cars on the road and improve regional air quality; and support
• The lack of experience or familiarity of the        sustainable municipal growth. The project is expected to have four phases, be completed by 2020
  owner with the CMR method.                          and cost over one billion dollars. MassDOT is pursuing federal funding through the New Starts
                                                      program managed by the Federal Transit Authority as well as Commonwealth funds.
All of these circumstances present degrees of
                                                      The project includes six new Green Line stations, with a branch from Lechmere station to a Union
professional liability risk for the consulting
                                                      Square station in Somerville and four new stations in Somerville on another branch leading to a
engineer. As in the case of DB, there are
                                                      College Avenue station in Medford. In addition, the project requires a new light rail vehicle storage
proactive risk management steps that may be
                                                      and maintenance facility. The project also features 4.5 miles of Green Line double track, relocation
initiated by the consulting engineer to mitigate
                                                      of 4 miles of double track commuter rail, 17,000 linear feet of restraining[TH1] and noise walls and 8
risk exposure:                                        bridges, as well as viaducts, catenary lines, signals, communication, and power, roadway and traffic
• Do not compromise independent professional          improvements.
  judgment in the design development process.
                                                      As the program manager/construction manager for the project, HDR, Inc. and Gilbane Building
• Exercise quality control over design                Company are serving as a joint venture team. The advanced preliminary engineering and final
  deliverables such that they are suitable for        design is being delivered by a joint venture lead by AECOM Technical Services, Inc. and HNTB
  their intended purpose (e.g. establishment of       Corporation, with more than a dozen sub-consultants. The Phase I construction work, which
  preliminary pricing, GMP, schedule and              includes widening of rail bridges and demolition of an MBTA storage building, may be commenced
  construction).                                      by the end of this year, relying on the Design-Bid-Build approach. Later phases are planned to be
• Document the GMP negotiation process and            delivered using Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC), incorporating an integrated
  any qualifications, assumptions or exclusions.      team approach to design and construction. With that approach, the MBTA hopes to better manage
                                                      complex transit requirements, identify and manage risks, mitigate third-party claims, control
D/B and CMR are both gaining popularity               schedules and costs and improve the quality of design and community commitments.
with public owners, primarily because both of

  Ingenio Strategic Marcom Consulting               Triunity Engineering & Management, Inc.                Wetlands & Wildlife, Inc
  331 Lake Street                                   60 Thoreau Street, Suite 239                           233 Russell Hill Road
  Arlington, MA 02474                               Concord, MA 01742                                      Ashburnham, MA 01430
  781/214-6262                                      978/505-2030                                           978/827-5800                     
                                                                                                           Firm Representative: Marshall Dennis
  Firm Representative: Tess Hartwell                Firm Representative: Marvin Thomas                         
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                             11

President’s Message
continued from cover
appreciative of our members who participated         Our Leadership Education programs                   On the Qualification Based Selection (QBS)
at the above and other events/meetings. Our          continued to be a great success. Twenty of our      front, I am happy to report that development
advocacy effort is only possible with help from      members are currently participating at our          of our website, is well
participating members like you.                      4th Odyssey Program, developing skills to           underway. I anticipate our QBS Committee is
                                                     motivate, inspire, lead and grow people at          moving quickly towards completing this web
On business matters, we raised an issue with
                                                     their firms. Registration for our Spring 2013       site for an April 2013 launch and I am sure that
the MBTA regarding a potential change in
                                                     Everest Senior Leadership Roundtable,               they would appreciate any additional help on
our fee structure, with which many of our
                                                     Effective Writing Class and Emerging Leaders        this web site development.
member firms had great concerns. We were
                                                     Program will be open soon. I urge you to take
able to get a clarification and prevent any                                                              I welcome your support, input and help on our
                                                     advantage of these excellent education
reduction in our current fee structure. ACEC/                                                            advocacy and educational efforts, as ACEC/
                                                     programs for development of your staff and
MA will continue to protect our business                                                                 MA continues to deliver tangible value to our
                                                     growth of your organization.
interest for our member firms.                                                                           members.

Tax Incentives for A/E Firms
continued from page 2
party using software approved by the US              of wages paid by the taxpayer and reported to       (currently the highest corporate tax rate). The
Department of Energy, and must include a             employees on Form W-2. QPAI is determined           IC-DISC then pays a dividend to its
field inspection of the building. The designer       by taking gross receipts from eligible activities   shareholders. Under current law, these are
must also obtain, in writing, the approval to        and subtracting related cost of goods sold and      treated as qualified dividends and taxed to
take the deduction from an authorized                an allocation of general and administrative         individuals at a maximum federal tax rate of
representative of the building owner. When           costs.                                              15%. This 20% swing in tax rates can create a
more than one designer is responsible for                                                                significant benefit. Often, in a typical corporate
                                                     Interest Charge Domestic Sales Corporation
creating the required technical specifications,                                                          structure, the A/E firm pays compensation to
the deduction may be allocated among multiple                                                            its owners; however, the individual owner tax
                                                     The IC-DISC is an export incentive that has
designers.                                                                                               rates may be close to that of the corporation,
                                                     managed to survive the challenges that struck
                                                                                                         resulting in a similar amount of overall tax
Domestic Production Activities Deduction             down other export incentives. Often used by
                                                                                                         being paid. Alternatively, the corporation could
(DPAD)                                               exporters of goods, the IC-DISC structure may
                                                                                                         pay a dividend to its shareholders, taxable at
For a number of years, Congress attempted to         also be used by A/E firms who provide services
                                                                                                         the qualified dividend rate of 15%, but no
provide for certain export incentives to US          in the US related to foreign construction
                                                                                                         deduction is allowed to the corporation when
businesses. The end result of all this was the       projects. Somewhat different than the other tax
                                                                                                         it makes a direct dividend payment.
World Trade Organization continually                 incentives described in this article, the IC-
shooting down each of these incentives as            DISC requires setting up a separate legal entity    As with anything good, there are some
illegal trade subsidies. To avoid further            (typically with ownership identical to that of      limitations and issues. The biggest concern is
problems, the American Jobs Creation Act of          the A/E firm or as a subsidiary corporation).       the question of what will happen with tax rates
2004 implemented the DPAD. Normally                  While there are very specific requirements that     after 2012. While some Congressional action
considered to be a deduction for manufacturing       must be met, these are not overly complex. The      late in 2012 is anticipated to avoid the so-called
businesses, taxpayers engaged in the active          IC-DISC is tax-exempt for federal income tax        fiscal cliff, dividend rates in 2013 are currently
conduct of the business of architecture or           purposes, although it is taxable in some states.    scheduled to increase to be equal to that of
engineering also may qualify for this deduction.     The primary tax benefit associated with an IC-      ordinary income. If this were to happen, the
A/E services qualify if they are performed in        DISC comes from the commission paid to the          IC-DISC structure would be rendered useless.
the US in connection with US real property           IC-DISC by the A/E firm. The maximum                Stephen E. Minson, CPA is a tax partner in the
construction activities. Post-construction           commission to be paid each year is equal to the     Commercial Practice Group at DiCicco, Gulman &
services such as annual audits and inspections       greater of 4% of the A/E’s qualified export         Company, LLP, a Woburn, MA, CPA and business
are not eligible for the deduction. DPAD             receipts (for foreign construction projects         consulting firm. He can be reached at 781/937-5120
allows eligible businesses to deduct 9% of the       where the work is performed in the US), or          or
lesser of (1) qualified production activities        50% of the taxable income associated with this
                                                                                                         Chad J. DaGraca, CPA is a partner in the Commercial
income (QPAI), or (2) taxable income (adjusted       export income. This commission is paid to the       Practice Group at DiCicco, Gulman & Company, LLP.
gross income for individuals, estates and trusts).   IC-DISC and deducted by the A/E firm,               He can be reached at 781/937-5376 or cdagraca@
However, the deduction may not exceed 50%            resulting in a tax deduction of up to 35% 
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                              12

Where Is Professional Engineering Licensure Going?
continued from page 4
The question is can we continue to turn out a        topics. She rarely uses the hard computation       As for the opponents, the better approach may
highly skilled engineering workforce that can        skills she learned in her undergraduate            be to work with the educational institutions to
compete globally with just four years of             program; her professional experience is more       increase the technical credits required for
education? Glenn advocates that we need a better     focused on the soft skills that would not be       graduation with a bachelor’s degree, and also
foundation for our next generation of engineers.     addressed by MOE. Clearly, there are different     raise the standard of continuing education in
                                                     opinions on the value of the additional            professional licensure renewals to ensure
Is Requiring a Master’s the Only Alternative?
                                                     education to the practice of engineering.          technical relevance of the education.
If the intended goal of MOE is to increase
                                                                                                        Encouraging continuing formal post graduate
capabilities, Bill Stout questions how much          Does “One Size” Fit All?
                                                                                                        education for those who have the drive and
benefit those additional 30 hours will actually      The technical aspects of engineering vary by
                                                                                                        resources to achieve the advanced education is
provide. Bill and many others agree that             discipline, as does the ability to attract
                                                                                                        another option for consideration.
“Continuing education is a better alternative to     individuals to a particular field. Would more
delivering knowledge that is relevant                rigorous academic requirements make more           If state Boards of Registration are going to
throughout your career. An engineer’s                sense for structural engineers than fire           adopt the Model Law, they need to do so very
education should never end.” The problem is          protection engineers, for example? Is there a      soon. Students pursuing an engineering
that there is now no rigor and no assessment         geographic issue as well? If you live in a more    education will need to understand that the
for continuing education for professional            rural area without a local university, would you   road to licensure will require additional
engineering licensure renewals. But by               be penalized? Of course, online courses may be     coursework.
requiring a master’s degree, would these hands-      available but do these advanced courses even
                                                                                                        Additional Information
on opportunities be limited early in an              lend themselves to online study?
                                                                                                        Click on the links below for more information
engineer’s career while increasing the cost of
                                                     What is Next?                                      on professional engineering licensure.
entry into the field? Chemical and mechanical
                                                     The commitment to the future of the
engineers, for example, have continuing                                                                 Raise the Bar for Engineering
                                                     engineering industry of both the proponents
education programs that are tailored to their
                                                     and opponents of MOE is evident, and the           Licensing that Works
discipline. Would classroom training offer the
                                                     discussion and dialogue regarding the best
same value? Could an alternative be to allow a                                                          Licensing Article in Engineering News Record
                                                     approach is sure to continue. With the 2020
trade—one year of experience for one year in
                                                     deadline approaching, proponents of MOE are        Point-Counterpoint: Gauging the ‘Raise the
the classroom? And how would the cost of the
                                                     looking to an early adopter. No states have        Bar’ Debate (PDF)
master’s program affect the individuals who are
                                                     adopted the MOE to date. Proponents hope
required to continue their formal education                                                             Dean L. Groves, PE, is the Director of Strategic
                                                     that, similar to the introduction of continuing
and pay for it themselves, or the companies                                                             Growth—New England for URS Corporation. He can
                                                     education requirements—in 1999 there were
that offer tuition reimbursement to their                                                               be reached at 857/383-3837 or
                                                     only five states with civil engineering
eligible employees?
                                                     requirements and now there are as many as 40       Elena Bleakley is an independent marketing consultant.
Will More Stringent Requirements                     states—once the first state adopts MOE, more       She can be reached at 617/823-8639 or elena.bleakley@
Drive Away the Next Generation?                      will quickly follow.                     
At the heart of the discussion is the ability to
attract and retain highly-qualified talent to take
us into the next generation. According to an
audience member from Wentworth Institute
for Technology, driving students away with
academic rigor is not the issue; students are
                                                       The Aldrich Conference Center—
responding       positively   not      negatively.     where history and technology meet on Beacon Hill…
Wentworth’s       undergraduate      engineering
program has been continuously growing since                                           Two blocks from the State House and overlooking
2004 and the students are more qualified than
ever. A representative from Northeastern                                              Boston Common, the newly refurbished Aldrich
University also noted an uptick in interest in
engineering graduate programs. Audience
                                                                                      Conference Center is the perfect venue for your next
members were concerned that many of those                                             event. This historic building accommodates private
may be foreign students that return to their
home country to practice, further underlying                                          functions, business meetings, and receptions for up to 75.
the need to build our capacity in the US.
A young engineer in the audience, however,             For information or reservations, contact               The Aldrich Conference Center
questioned the relevance of requiring additional
upper level courses in engineering, science,
                                                       Rich Keenan, Conference Center Manager
                                                       at 617/305-4110 or
                                                                                                              One Walnut Street
                                                                                                              Beacon Hill                     Boston, MA
mathematics and/or professional practice
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                             13

Legislature Makes Three Changes to Wetlands Protection Act
By Nathaniel Stevens, Esq., McGregor & Associates, P.C.
                  During the last week of              “Project site” is newly defined as where “the        shall be given to the owner of the land over
                  the formal 2012 Legisla-             following activities are proposed to take place:     which the easement runs.
                  ture Session, lawmakers on           dredging, excavating, filling, grading, the
                                                                                                            Waiver of Filing Requirements for
                  Beacon Hill passed the 2012          erection, reconstruction or expansion of a
                                                                                                            Clean-up After a Destructive Storm
                  Economic Development Act.            building or structure, the driving of pilings, the
                                                                                                            Following Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene and
                  This act, which in large part        construction or improvement of roads or other
                                                                                                            the Halloween Storm in 2011, DEP
was later approved by the Governor, affects            ways and the installation of drainage, sewerage
                                                                                                            Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell issued
how Conservation Commissions and the                   and water systems.”
                                                                                                            emergency regulations that relaxed procedures
Massachusetts Department of Environmental
                                                       Interestingly, the law also defines “land under      for cleanup and restoration work. These
Protection (DEP) administer the permitting
                                                       water bodies and waterways” for purposes of          regulations meant that even the emergency
programs under the Wetlands Protection Act
                                                       abutter notification as “the bottom of, or land      provisions of the Regulations (310 CMR
(WPA). (See Sections 48, 49, and 50 of Chapter
                                                       under, the surface of the ocean or an estuary,       10.06) were not required for some work.
238 of the Acts of 2012.) These changes
                                                       creek, river, stream, pond or lake.” This            Apparently there was some question as to
became effective on August 7, 2012.
                                                       essentially combines the Land Under Ocean            whether such regulations were legal or effective.
Abutter Notification Clarified                         and (freshwater) Land Under Water Body               To facilitate similar action in the future, the
Amending the WPA, Chapter 238 of the Acts              definitions from the DEP Wetlands Regulations        2012 act also amends the WPA explicitly under
of 2012 changes or clarifies abutter notification      (310 CMR 10.25 and 10.56).                           paragraph 26, giving the DEP Commissioner
procedures for some project types, mostly                                                                   such authority, as well as providing guidelines.
                                                       When the “project site” is a linear shape
projects where actual work occurs in part of a
                                                       greater than 1,000 feet in length, notification      After “a destructive weather event requiring
larger area. Essentially, instead of looking at the
                                                       must now be given to “all abutters within            widespread recovery efforts, debris cleanup or
property line to determine the abutters within
                                                       1,000 feet of the proposed project site.”            roadway or utility repair”, the DEP Commis-
100 feet, one now measures from the area where
                                                       Indeed, the signed legislation does state            sioner may declare a “severe weather emergency”
the actual dredging, filling or altering will occur.
                                                       “1,000 feet” rather than 100 feet, potentially       so as to allow for emergency work to protect
When work is in land under water bodies and            providing a significantly greater number of          public health or safety. The Commissioner’s
waterways, or on a tract of land greater than 50       abutters who would be notified. If the linear        severe weather declaration must specify: the
acres, written notification must be given only         project site is wholly within an easement            work that can be done without filing a Notice
to abutters within 100 feet of the “project site.”     through another person’s land, notice also
                                                                                                                                    continued on page 14

Impact of the National Compensation Matrix on Massachusetts Department
of Transportation’s Auditing Requirements
By Tess Hartwell, Principal Consultant, Ingenio Strategic Marketing Consulting

                  On September 19, 2012, the           sation over the methodology described in             “bonus” and not allowable as an element of
                  ACEC/MA Accounting and               Chapter 7 of the Audit Guide. The new NCM            compensation under NCM because it is not
                  Finance Forum hosted a               was released this past spring, and, while it has     reasonable. There are other elements of
                  roundtable discussion at The         met with some apprehension in the A/E/C              compensation such as marketing time, time
                  Engineering Center with              community, it seems to have streamlined audit        related to trade shows, and time related to
                  Andrew Cardinale and Therese         reporting requirements.                              acquisitions which are always unallowable,
Moran of the Massachusetts Department of                                                                    should be removed from compensation and are
                                                       The NCM Survey breaks staff into nine
Transporation (MassDOT) Audit Operations                                                                    subject to review under the NCM.
                                                       different positions. In cases where a position is
Section. The purpose of the discussion was                                                                  A question arose regarding whether the
                                                       not listed, such as an employee who is
to review the requirements of the National                                                                  calculation in the NCM was absolute. It was
                                                       compensated at the project manager level or
Compensation Matrix (NCM), which is                                                                         noted that if a staff member has very special
                                                       above, but their title/position would otherwise
described as a tool for evaluating the                                                                      skills and is paid above their NCM level,
                                                       indicate they are at a lower staff level, their
reasonableness of executive compensation.                                                                   MassDOT will review on a case-by-case basis
                                                       compensation information will likely be
NCM was developed under the direction and              required.                                            for allowability. MassDOT urges firms to think
guidance of the Federal Highway Adminis-                                                                    function, not title, when categorizing staff for
                                                       As required by Chapter 7 of the Audit Guide,         the compensation matrix, and encourages
tration. The American Association of State
                                                       the NCM considers compensation to include            them to include staff titles as well as their
Highway and Transportation Officials
                                                       “allocable and allowable wages, salaries,            “functional” titles to better identify the role.
(AASHTO) 2010 Audit Guide recommends
                                                       bonuses, deferred compensation, and employer         Additionally, the AASHTO Accounting and
the NCM be used by State DOTs as a tool for
                                                       contributions to defined contribution pension        Audit Guide does not allow for offsets within
determining reasonable levels of compensation.
                                                       plans.” In some cases, a firm may pay the            individual position categories.
It may be used as an alternative method for the
                                                       owner’s taxes, though that is considered a
determination of reasonableness of compen-                                                                                          continued on page 15
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                   14

Post-Election Wrap-up: What Do the Election Results Mean?
By Wayne C. Perry, PE, Norfolk Ram Group
                   The ballots are counted and     Live.” The first debate gave Romney a “second           independent voters not being as big an issue
                   results announced. Now the      life” but he never performed in a way which             as it was in 2008.
                   question is: “What does the     would change the public’s opinion and the             • The Republican party needs to re­cast
                   recent presidential, congres-   presidential race. Mr. Rasky felt that the              themselves to address the changed make-up of
                   sional and the Massachusetts    handling of a series of actions early on forced         the voters, such as changes in white voters vs.
                   election results mean?” To      Romney into severe conservatism even though             non-white voters, and the increasing younger
shed some light on this topic, the ACEC/MA         he was already a moderate conservatist. The             population of voters.
Program Committee sponsored an election            President took aim at the Republicans forcing         • Issue targeting works, when campaigning in
wrap-up on November 8, 2012. Speakers              Romney to appear even more conservative, as             target areas.
included Larry Rasky, Chairman of Rasky            shown by the “etch a sketch” incident. The
                                                                                                         • There was a “super storm surge.” Hurricane
Baerlein Strategic Communications and Ernest       47% video demonstrated how disconnected
                                                                                                           Sandy clearly effected the election; 42% of
Paicopolos, Principal of Opinion Dynamic           Romney was from the public and escalated a
                                                                                                           voters said responses to “Sandy” by the
Corporation.                                       poor public opinion.
                                                                                                           Obama administration were important and
Larry Rasky led off the presentations. He felt     Ernie Paicoplos discussed the lessons learned           appropriate. Even Governor Christy’s opinion
that the main points of the election were:         and offered his overall impressions of the              of the administration had changed.
several crucial issues were debated during the     election. According to Mr. Paicopolos President       • “It was the improving economy stupid”—
election; the money spent on the campaigns         Obama was set to beat the challenger, even              people believed this point of view, as noted by
was enormous; and the public made a statement      though there was still health care concerns and         the 6 out of 10 who voted in Ohio in favor of
to the government, as witnessed by the support     high unemployment. The Democratic team                  the President and his car industry bailout.
to the President relative to the President’s       had re-framed the issues to help themselves and
                                                   secure a win at the election. Hurricane Sandy         Mr. Paicopolos stated that “in politics you
action on the auto industry bail out.
                                                   clearly helped the re-election of President           never know what will happen.” When asked
Prior to President Obama’s first election in       Obama. Mitt Romney did not know how to                what he thought the upcoming areas of concern
2008, Mr. Rasky believes that the President did    address the new voting group in the country.          and attention would be, he predicted that clean
not understand how bad the economy was. Mr.                                                              energy, the energy/security bill and transpor-
Rasky felt that the mid-term election signaled     According to Mr. Paicopolos, other key                tation would see a renewed focus in the next
the end of the “on the job training,” so in        takeaways include:                                    Congress, as a result of Hurricane Sandy and a
November 2010, the Republicans took over in        • There was not a large margin to the win,            renewed awareness on infrastructure. He
the congress. However, the pubic appears to          suggesting that the US is still divided on who      further commented that the future for the
have approved of the stimulus money that went        should run the country.                             engineering community appeared to be strong,
to hiring teachers, fire and police forces, as     • Pre­election polling was validated in that the      with considerable opportunities for new work
illustrated by the voters support and election       election was as close as the polls had predicted.   expected to be coming out in the near future.
results in industrial heartland states.
                                                   • Party identification still matters.                 Wayne C. Perry is with Norfolk Ram Group and
Mr. Rasky noted that the debates took on a                                                               currently serves as a member of the ACEC/MA
                                                   • The shift in demographics matters, such as
sense of a political version of “Saturday Night                                                          Programs Committee. He can be reached at 508/747-
                                                     marital status rather than gender, and              7900, Ext. 193 or

Wetlands Protection Act
continued from page 13
of Intent (NOI) or an emergency certification;     Utilities Exemption Expanded                          Communities replacing their aging sewer
general mitigation measures that may be            Certain public utility work, such as that for         collection systems now do not have to file NOIs
required for such work, notification or            public electric, gas, water, telephone, telegraph     before beginning such projects. It is important
reporting requirements and the geographic area     and other telecommunication services has long         to remember, however, that DEP’s Wetlands
covered by the declaration.                        been exempt from the WPA. Work that                   Regulations place the burden on the project
                                                   maintains, repairs, or replaces existing              proponent, not the Conservation Commission,
The declaration must specify the length of time
                                                   structures or facilities used by listed types of      to establish that such utility work is exempt.
in which it will be in effect, though not more
                                                   public utilities does not have to comply with         Nathaniel Stevens, Esq. is a Senior Associate at the law
than three months unless extended by the
                                                   the procedural requirements of the WPA. Such          firm of McGregor & Associates, P.C. in Boston where his
                                                   work cannot substantially change or enlarge           practice focuses on environmental and land use law and
The declaration must be sent electronically to     the structure or facility of the public utility.      related litigation. He also is the Chair of his town’s
all conservation commissions in the geographic                                                           conservation commission. He may be reached at
                                                   The 2012 act has added “sewer” to this list of
area of the severe weather emergency. Also, it                                                           617/338-6464, ext. 120 or
                                                   public utilities, meaning that work as identified
must be made widely available to the general
                                                   above necessary for a public utility to provide       Article reprinted with permission of Massachusetts Associ-
public “through appropriate channels for                                                                 ations of Conservation Commissions (
                                                   sewer service is now exempt from the WPA.
emergency communications.”
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                                15

What Is Quality Environmental Documentation?
By Joe Freeman, Senior Project Manager, Tetra Tech
                   “Quality” documentation in-       stakeholders and the general public. Surveying       example, although NEPA documents need to
                   corporates accurate, complete,    current documentation practices of various           include a “Purpose and Need” section there is
                   current and consistent infor-     departments of transportation, the team focused      no reason it can’t be titled in a more reader-
                   mation presentation in a          on presenting various alternative approaches or      friendly manner such as “Why Do We Need
                   manner that is easily under-      different formats to increase effectiveness while    This Project?” In this fashion, our report
                   stood by the reader. What         still complying with all environmental laws and      language can help foster discussion, engage
once was deemed quality documentation has            federal regulations. The results of those findings   participation and elicit collaboration in the
begun to evolve in the engineering community,        have been used to develop the current guide          project process with the public.
particularly for environmental professionals as      documents geared towards improving quality
                                                                                                          Visuals also play a critical role in telling the
it pertains to National Environmental Policy         and reducing ambiguity.
                                                                                                          story. Choose appropriate visuals by eliminating
Act (NEPA) documentation. Established early
                                                     Presented as a series of webinars, the “Every        project drawings or schematics that are too
on—NEPA requires Federal Agencies to
                                                     Day       Counts—Implementing             Quality    detailed and muddy the public’s understanding
provide full disclosure of project impacts and
                                                     Environmental Documentation,” is meant to            of project benefits. Focus on graphic
benefits, analyze project alternatives and
                                                     serve as a model providing recommendations           representation that can help visually outline
involve stakeholders and the general public for
                                                     for practitioners, state agencies, regulators and    not only project benefits, but also the
input and participation in the review process.
                                                     stakeholders on how to improve environmental         environmental benefits.
Traditionally, completing NEPA documen-
                                                     documentation while being legally sufficient.
tation meant focusing on being legally                                                                    Overall, the trend is “less        is more” when
                                                     Here in Massachusetts, we are feeling the
airtight—the format served the purpose of                                                                 preparing environmental            documentation.
                                                     trickle-down effects of these webinars and are
meeting the letter of the law, but lent itself to                                                         Keep the main body of the         report brief and
                                                     being asked to improve the quality of our
being unwieldy and difficult for the public to                                                            leave the extensive technical     language for the
                                                     environmental documentation by making
easily comprehend the purpose and benefits of                                                             document appendices.
                                                     them more engaging and useful for the public
the project. Written by engineers and scientists,
                                                     and decision-makers while still fulfilling the       The final recommendation is to concentrate on
the typical NEPA document was a confusing
                                                     needs of the reviewing regulatory agencies and       a clear, concise presentation that emphasizes
and dense presentation of technical information
                                                     the legal community.                                 relevant information and engages the reader in
for the general public.
                                                                                                          understanding the project purpose while
                                                     A key theme we hear is “tell the story.” As
A collaborative effort of an American                                                                     simplifying the presentation of the relevant
                                                     environmental professionals, we are being
Association of State Highway and Transportation                                                           information.
                                                     encouraged to explain not only what we are
Officials (AASHTO)/ American Council of
                                                     looking at, but why. By reducing the                 Joe Freeman is a Senior Project Manager with Tetra
Engineering Companies (ACEC) Joint                                                                        Tech in Framingham. He has 30 years of experience in
                                                     extraneous details, we can concentrate on
Committee along with the Federal Highway                                                                  environmental impact assessment and environmental
                                                     presenting the problem and relevant facts—
Administration (FHWA) investigated and                                                                    permitting for major infrastructure projects in
                                                     clearly outlining for the reader the project
reported on what changes could be made to                                                                 Massachusetts. He can be reached at 508/903-2050 or
                                                     purpose. Another theme is “engage the
increase the readability of NEPA documents to                                                   
                                                     reader.” Avoid jargon wherever possible. For
more effectively communicate information to

National Compensation Matrix
continued from page 13
Discussion regarding MassDOT’s policy arose          years to make adjustments as needed and as its       The Audit Operations department is willing to
relating to top level executives within small        use dictates changes. In order to preserve the       work with firms, as previously indicated, on a
firms who act not only as a president or similar     relevance of the surveys that provide the basis      case-by-case basis. Currently understaffed, the
but also perform project management or field         for the NCM compensation calculations, Ms.           department is committed to maintaining a
work. MassDOT’s Highway Division contracts           Moran and Mr. Cardinale encouraged that              high level of service, and is working to staff up
do not allow a company to bill out at the            firms participate in providing data for salary       to improve response time.
president’s hourly rate for other work categories    surveys. They also noted that during the
                                                                                                          Mr. Cardinale also indicated that if a
if their hourly rates are significantly higher       recent transitions they identified a large
                                                                                                          Massachusetts-based firm needs a cognizant
than the average for other individuals within        volume of unaudited contracts for projects
                                                                                                          audit letter for other states to contact him as
that category. The hourly rates billed for work      that were, in some cases, completed long ago.
                                                                                                          soon as possible to enable Audit Operations to
performed should be similar to the rates billed      To assist in this streamlining effort, firms are
                                                                                                          work to include the cognizant review into the
by the other individuals within the category.        urged to complete the contract closeout
                                                                                                          audit plan/schedule.
These executives must be paid at their usual         forms, which can be obtained from
hourly rate for all hours worked and accumulate      MassDOT’s website after the final invoice on         Tess Hartwell is a marketing consultant with nearly 15
to full cost as a direct labor cost.                 a project has been sent. The form is located on      years of experience as a consultant and marketer. She
                                                     MassDOT’s website as the final file under            can be reached at or via
As a method to streamline the audit process,                                                              phone at 781/214-6262.
                                                     Project Review Forms.
the plan is to update the survey every two
                                    What Has ACEC/MA Done For You Lately?

         January 2013               MASSACHUSETTS AGENCIES
                                    •   Testified in support of infrastructure investment at many MassDOT public hearings to discuss the future of
                                        transportation in the Commonwealth.
  With the support of our
                                    •   Participated and spoke for need for infrastructure investment at many MassDOT public hearings to discuss
  member firms, ACEC/MA works
                                        future of transportation at Massachusetts.
  hard to protect and promote
  your business in a variety of     •   At DCAM’s invitation, participate in Construction Law Working Group bi-monthly meetings, collaborating with
                                        other design, construction and public agency/owner organizations.
  ways. In addition to our robust
  programs, here is an account      •   Participated in FHWA’s Every Day Counts 2 (EDC2) held on December 10–11, 2012 in Warwick, Rhode Island.
  of our recent actions.            •   Represented on the MA School Building Authority Advisory Board (Dom D’Eramo), the MSBA Designer
                                        Selection Panel (Leo Peters), the MassDOT Every Day Counts State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC),
                                        and the MassDOT Transportation Advisory Committee.
                                    •   Hosted MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola for a member briefing on upcoming work and
                                        MassDOT’s Pam Marquis for a discussion of Right of Way (ROW) issues with our members.
                                    •   Collaborating on a January 2013 Massport workshop to provide our members with information for audit and
                                        financial requirements.
                                    •   Collaborating with the MBTA on workshops about Department of Public Safety project requirements.
                                    •   Met our PAC goal set by ACEC National for the fourth year in row.

                                    LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY
                                    •   Hosted Water Infrastructure Finance Coalition working group meetings at The Engineering Center to develop a
                                        public education and advocacy plan for implementing recommendations to close water infrastructure funding gap.
                                    •   Participating in a Massachusetts Gaming Commission Forum with the American Institute of Architects/MA to
                                        promote sustainable design in casino construction.
                                    •   Developing “Good Samaritan” legislation to protect engineering companies from liability for doing volunteer
                                        work in emergency situations.
                                    •   Continue to evaluate senate and house bills which may affect our industry.
                                    •   Collaborating with The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts on how to design infrastructure to adapt to
                                        climate change.
                                    •   Secured legislative approval of a dam safety and seawall repair/removal bill with a new loan fund.

                                    PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
                                    •   Organized and launched our 4th Odyssey leadership education program, a 10 month program aimed at
                                        mid-managers in our firms, starting in October, 2012.
                                    •   Continue to participate in a joint task force with BSCES and MALSCE representatives to provide input on
                                        potential continuing education requirements in Massachusetts.
                                    •   Successfully held our third ACEC/MA-Education Corporation golf tournament in September at Marshfield
                                        Country Club to raise funds for engineering scholarships.
                                    •   Promoted our 2013 ACEC/MA Education Corporation Scholarship application for college students, due January
American Council of Engineering         18, 2013.
Companies of Massachusetts
                                    •   Launched our 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards competition; save the date for our March 20, 2013
                                        Engineering Excellence and Awards Gala
The Engineering Center              •   Developed plans to expand our Effective Writing Program to western Massachusetts.
One Walnut Street
                                    •   Continue to hold partnering meetings with key agency leaders at MassDOT Highway, MBTA, Massport, DCAM
Boston, MA 02108-3616
                                        and DCR to discuss issues of concern to our members.
T: 617/227-5551, F: 617/227-6783,   •   Communicate via Twitter on @ACECMA. ACEC/MA has over 900 followers. Developing our QBS website,                ; planned launch in April 2013.
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                           17

MassDOT Disparity Study                               ACEC/MA Risk Management Forum Continues            State Jobs Commission Releases Report
ACEC/MA Member Firms gave input to                    Risk Tip Series for ACEC/MA Members                In October 2012, the state’s Jobs Commission
MassDOT for its Disparity Study on WBE,               ACEC/MA’s Risk Management Forum has                released their report on how the Commonwealth
MBE and Small Businesses. Some of our                 a new installment in their series of Risk Tips     can best mitigate barriers to job creation,
member firms are in the process of being              for ACEC/MA Member Firms. Issued in                leverage the strengths of the state economy, and
interviewed by the MassDOT consultant.                November 2012, Risk Tip 4 provides some            better align the needs of employers with the
                                                      issues to consider about managing risk in          available workforce. ACEC/MA provided input
                                                      studies and reports. The Risk Tips are available   to the report.
ACEC/MA Drafting Good Samaritan Legislation
                                                      to all ACEC/MA members on the ACEC/MA
ACEC/MA’s Government Affairs Committee is
                                                      Risk Management Forum Page.
finalizing Good Samaritan legislation for Design                                                         Massachusetts Legislature Passes Dam and
Professionals and Contractors to be filed in the                                                         Seawall Repair Loan Program
2013–2014 legislative session. The bill’s purpose     FEMA Launches New Tool to Submit Request           On December 31, 2012, the Massachusetts
is to protect engineers, other design professionals   To Change Property Zone Designation                House and the Massachusetts Senate gave final
and contractors who donate their services in an                                                          approval to legislation creating a loan and grant
                                                      The Online Letter of Map Change (LOMC) is
emergency. Currently, 23 states have some form                                                           program to facilitate the repair or removal of
                                                      a new FEMA tool to submit a request to change
of Good Samaritan legislation covering engineers                                                         unneeded dams and help finance repairs to
                                                      a property’s flood zone designation. Click here
and related professionals. This bill is designed to                                                      structures aimed at controlling coastal flooding.
                                                      to learn more about this new tool.
provide liability protections to design and                                                              The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for
construction professionals who volunteer during                                                          his signature. Click here to see the text of bill
a declared local, state, or federal emergency.        ACEC/MA Speaks at MassDOT’s                        approved by legislature.
ACEC/MA identified this as a need after               Statewide Transportation Hearings in
                                                                                                         ACEC/MA advocated for passage of this bill as
Hurricane Irene, when local officials in Berkshire    November and December 2012
                                                                                                         part of the Dam Alliance, which also included
County requested donated services to assess           Thank you to the many ACEC/MA members
                                                                                                         The Nature Conservancy, Mass. Audubon,
structural damage in some homes. The bill will        who represented us and spoke in support of
                                                                                                         BSCES, the Massachusetts Municipal
be filed by January 18, 2013, the bill filing         funding for transportation infrastructure at the
                                                                                                         Association, the Massachusetts Water Works
deadline for the new legislative session. When        recent MassDOT hearings held around the
                                                                                                         Association, the Massachusetts Association of
the bill has been filed, we’ll provide a link on      state. We had great participation from ACEC/
                                                                                                         Conservation Commissions, the Environmental along with a fact sheet and            MA Member Firms. Click here to see a list of
                                                                                                         League of Massachusetts and several other
information about how you can help.                   the participants.
                                                                                                         groups. Click here for more information.

   ACEC/MA Hosts Congressman Richard Neal and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas for a Member Briefing

   From Left: Abbie Goodman (ACEC/MA Exec. Dir.), Michael J. Walsh, PE (CDM Smith), Dennis P. Coffey (HNTB Corporation), Mary B. Hall, PE
   (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.), Doug Landry (VHB/Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.), Congressman Richard Neal, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, (both
   D-Massachusetts) Jennifer K. Lachmayr, PE (ARCADIS), AnaCristina Fragoso (Parsons Brinckerhoff ), Sean O'Brien, PE (ARCADIS), Ko Ishikura, PE
   (ACEC/MA President, Green International Affiliates, Inc.), William R. McMenimen, Jr., PE (Parsons Brinckerhoff )
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                                                                                                     18

Climate Change Adaptation for                     ACEC/MA 2013 Corporate Sponsor Program
Infrastructure on the ACEC/MA Agenda              ACEC/MA is offering member firms the
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, public       opportunity to become a 2013 ACEC/MA
owners and private clients have a renewed focus   Corporate Sponsor by sponsoring eight of
on protecting infrastructure from flooding and    our monthly events with a single payment.
other hazards. ACEC/MA’s Environmental            Respond now to take full advantage of the
Affairs Committee recently met with The           program starting in January 2013. Click here
Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts to discuss    for more info.
common interests related to climate change,
                                                  ACEC/MA EC Presidents’ Scholarship
and the ways in which infrastructure needs to
                                                  Applications Deadline: January 18, 2013
adapt to climate change. We plan to continue
                                                  ACEC/MA Education Corporation (ACEC/
this discussion with The Nature Conservancy.
                                                  MA EC) created the Presidents’ Scholarship to       Congratulations to CDMSmith's Eric Spargimino,
Transportation: Funding Plans for 2013;           help celebrate our 50th anniversary by giving       PE (second form right) for winning a 2012 ACEC
Right of Way Issues                               back to our community. The Presidents’              Young Professional of the Year award!
On December 19, ACEC/MA’s Transportation          Scholarship is a tribute to the outstanding
Agency Liaison Committee (TALC) hosted            leaders whose stewardship has successfully          ACEC National Committees—
Pam Marquis, MassDOT—Highway Division             guided five decades of accomplishment. The          Open to ACEC/MA Full Member Firms
Right of Way Compliance Administrator, and        annual scholarship is $5,000 and will be            ACEC National’s open Committees are a great
Frank     DePaola,     MassDOT       Highway      presented at the ACEC/MA Engineering                way to stay up to date on ACEC national
Administrator, for member briefings on current    Excellence and Awards Gala on March 20,             activities. Participation on these committees
issues and future procurements. Highway           2013 at The Royal Sonesta, Cambridge, MA.           keeps you and your firm plugged into the hot
Administrator DePaola also thanked ACEC/          Click here for more info.                           button issues of the moment and provides you
MA for its participation in MassDOT’s recent                                                          with the opportunity to be a stakeholder in
public hearings.                                  ACEC/MA QBS Award Application Deadline:
                                                  January 31, 2013                                    debate and decision-making. You can join a
                                                  ACEC/MA is now seeking nominations for the          committee if you are employed by an ACEC
                                                  2013 ACEC/MA QBS Awards, honoring                   Full Member Firm. They communicate
                                                  entities that use qualifications based selection    through Listserve updates, conference calls,
                                                  to retain professional services. There are two      and meetings. Even if you can only participate
                                                  categories of ACEC/MA QBS Awards:                   in a Listserve, these committee updates will
                                                  Government Sector and Non-Government                keep you in the know.
                                                  Sector. Click here for more info.                   ACEC OPEN COMMITTEES
                                                                                                      Contract Documents
                                                  ACEC/MA Committees and Forums:                      Ed Bajer:
                                                  Interested in Serving on an ACEC/MA
                                                  Committee or Forum?                                 Environment & Energy
                                                  ACEC/MA Committees and Forums are open              Keith Pemrick:
                                                  to all employees of ACEC/MA member firms.           Federal Agencies & Procurement Advocacy
MassDOT Highway Adminstrator Frank DePaola        You can:                                            Mark Steiner:
briefing ACEC/MA TALC about future plans.         • Focus on Client Sector policy issues in           Education & Business Resources
                                                    Building Engineering, Environmental Affairs,      Dee McKenna:
                                                    Private Sector or Transportation,                 International
                                                  • Influence public policy by advocating our key     Mark Steiner:
                                                    issues through our Government Affairs or          Management Practices
                                                    QBS Committees                                    Andrew Fort:
                                                  • Share your expertise on Business issues           Membership
                                                    through our Forum on Accounting and               Leo Hoch:
                                                    Finance, Human Resources, Information             Public Relations
                                                    Systems or Risk Management, or                    Alan Crockett:
                                                  • Inspire current and future engineering firm       Risk Management
                                                    leaders through our Events and Operations         Charles Kim:
                                                    Committees: Awards, Programs, Leadership
                                                    Education, Membership, and Commu-                 Tax and Regulatory Affairs
Pam Marquis, MassDOT—Highway Division               nications (the people who bring you Insights !)   Katharine Mottley:
Right of Way Compliance Administrator discusses                                                       Transportation
ROW plans with ACEC/MA TALC                       Click here to sign up.                              Matt Reiffer:
ACEC Insights • Winter 2013                                             19   ACEC/MA 2012–13 Board of Directors 19
                                                                             Ko Ishikura, PE, President & CEO
       UPCOMING EVENTS— SAVE THE DATE                                        Green International Affiliates, Inc.
                                                                             T: 978/923-0400, E:
                                                                             Richard F. O’Brien, PE, Vice President
                     ACEC/MA Alternative Delivery Breakfast                  Parsons Brinckerhoff
                                                                             T: 617/960-4919, E:
                          Thursday, January 17, 2013
                                                                             SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
                        Westin Waltham, Waltham, MA                          Joel P. Goodmonson, PE
                         Click for More Information                          Executive Vice President/Principal
                                                                             Architectural Engineers, Inc.
                                                                             T: 617/542-0810, E:
                       MBTA Workshops for Design Firms                       VICE PRESIDENT
                                                                             Erik J. Stoothoff, PE, Structural Engineer, Bridge Group
                        January 24 and February 4, 2013                      Jacobs
                          Click for More Information                         T: 617/532-4260, E:
                                                                             Mary B. Hall, PE, Principal
                          ACEC/MA Stormwater Update                          GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc
                                                                             T: 617/963-1001, E:
                           Wednesday, February 13, 2013
                          Westin Waltham, Waltham, MA                        Judith S. Eburn, Vice President/Controller
                                                                             GEI Consultants, Inc
                           Click for More Information                        T: 781/721-4062, E:
             ACEC/MA Emerging Leaders Program Begins First Session           Joseph B. Cormier, PE
                                                                             Vice President, Regional Delivery Manager
                               March 5, 2013                                 Kleinfelder
                                                                             T: 617/498-4611, E:
                        Click for More Information
                                                                             Mark S. Bartlett, PE, President
                           ACEC/MA Bowling Night                             Norfolk Ram Group, LLC
                                                                             T: 508/747-7900, x131, E:
                                 March 6, 2013                               Jennifer A. Ducey, PE
                       Town Line Luxury Lanes, Malden, MA                    Senior Principal Engineer
                                                                             Fay, Spofford & Thorndike
                             More information soon                           T: 781/221-1031, E:
                                                                             Charles A. Kalauskas, PE
                                                                             Chief Executive Officer
                ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence and Awards Gala               BSC Group, Inc.
                              March 20, 2013                                 T: 617/896-4350, E:

                      The Royal Sonesta, Cambridge, MA                       Scott A. Miller, PE
                        Click for More Information                           Haley and Ward, Inc
                                                                             T: 781/890-3980, E:
                                                                             Michael J. Scipione, PE, President & CEO
                  ACEC/MA Everest Senior Executive Roundtable                Weston & Sampson Engineers, Inc.
                                                                             T: 978/532-1900, E:
                                    April 4, 2013
                                                                             Damian R. Siebert, PE
                   University of Massachusetts Club, Boston, MA              Senior Engineer
                            Click for More Information                       Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
                                                                             T: 617/886-7399, E:
                                                                             David M. Vivilecchia
                       ACEC/MA State Markets Conference                      Regional Finance Manager/Principal
                                                                             VHB/Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
                                 April 11, 2013                              T: 617/924-1770, x1905, E:
                         Westin Waltham, Waltham, MA                         Michael J. Walsh, PE
                                                                             Vice President
                          Click for More Information                         CDM Smith
                                                                             T: 617/452-6535, E:
              ACEC 2013 Annual Convention and Legislative Summit             Mark Walsh-Cooke, PE, LEED AP BD+C
                         Grand Hyatt Washington, DC                          Arup USA Inc.
                                                                             T: 617/864-2987x 23228, E:
                              April 20–24, 2013
                                                                             NATIONAL DIRECTOR
                         Click for More Information                          James A. Pappas, PE, Senior Principal
                                                                             Stantec Consulting Services Inc.
                                                                             T: 617/226-9227, E:
              ACEC/MA Effective Writing Program with Mike Paster             LEGAL COUNSEL
                               TBA, April 2013                               David J. Hatem, PC
                                                                             Donovan Hatem LLP
                           More information soon                             T: 617/406-4800, E:
                                                                             ACEC NATIONAL EXCOMM CONTACT
                                                                             Michael W. Matthews, PE, President/CEO
                                                                             H&A Architects & Engineers
                                                                             T: 804/521-7052, E:
       Check out for more information and to register.        Abbie R. Goodman, IOM, ACEC/MA Executive Director
                                                                             The Engineering Center
        ACEC/MA Committee/Forum Meetings on                  T: 617/305-4112, E:
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